Apps To Make You Happy At Work

Last Updated Jun 21, 2011 8:34 AM EDT

Ever been bored at work, unmotivated, daunted by the level of work on your desk or feeling less than happy about an interaction with a co-worker or boss? That should cover just about everyone. If you've ever needed a few words of encouragement or a psychological boost to get you through the day, you may want to download one of the new happy apps onto your iphone or android. These apps provide a continual reminder of the things you talk about with your shrink (or career coach), the things you may read in self help books or even the stress-reducing lessons from your yoga teacher.

Most of the apps rely on the tenets of positive psychology to help reduce stress and think in a more positive way about your circumstances. There's a huge body of research that demonstrates the psychological benefits of altering the way you think about things, especially if your thoughts tend towards the negative. Here are a few apps that cover happiness, stress and work satisfaction.

  • Live Happy isbased on the research and teachings of Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How Of Happiness. "A set of activities has been scientifically supported to help people become happier, like savoring a beautiful scene, writing a gratitude journal or performing random acts of kindness," says Lyubomirsky. The app provides features that allow you to set goals in different areas of your life, express appreciation toward people in your life, keep a 'kindness journal', keep a list of things you're thankful for, take quizzes to rate how happy you are, and create a photo album of fond memories, among many other features. The app is available through the iphone app store.
  • "I Journal" is designed to get you in the habit of journaling positive thoughts. It was created by Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage. The author asserts that by journaling about positive experiences for a 21 days in a row, the brain creates a new pattern of happiness. By moving your thoughts away from task-based activities to those with more meaning, such as what you are grateful for or the acts of kindness you practice, you will be more content. It's available through Amazon.
  • Stress Free with Deepak Chopra. This is a six week program for stress reduction. It includes interactive activities for example. If you're having a conflict, you would enter different words that characterize the conflict, and it creates a snow globe of words. If you shake the phone, words get scrambled and you can see the conflict from a different perspective. Another excercise asks yout to enter words that describe your anger, creating an angry ice cube. Then your job is to slowly melt the cube with your finger. It's a letting go ritual that allows your anger to melt away with the cube. Available at the iphone app store.
  • Great Career. Best selling author Steven Covey created an app to help you increase your value as an employee and your level of work satisfaction. The app has exercises like building your village, choosing people from your email list to invite to lunch, tools to create your mission statement at work, understand your strengths, and what contribution you want to make. Available at the iphone app store.
Related:
Laurie Tarkan is an award-winning health journalist who writes for the New York Times, national magazines and websites including Health, Prevention, Ladies Home Journal, iVillage and the Huffington Post. Follow her on twitter. Photo courtesy of flickr user romainguy

  • Laurie Tarkan

    Laurie Tarkan is an award-winning health journalist who writes for The New York Times and many national magazines. She is a contributing editor at Fit Pregnancy magazine and the author of three books, Perfect Hormone Balance for Fertility, Perfect Hormone Balance for Pregnancy and My Mother's Breast: Daughters Ace Their Mothers' Cancer.. You can follow her on Twitter at @LaurieTarkan.